Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Adult B'nai Mitzvah

In 2011, nine Beth Emet adults came together with one purpose: to experience all that's involved in a B'nai Mitzvah: a life-cycle event we typically think of for young teens. On Saturday, November 10, 2012, these individuals celebrated their Adult B'nai Mitzvah. Listed below are some of the responses to the event:

"Thinking of all of you as I am still feeling the joy of our day yesterday. It was such a wonderful morning, standing with all of you as we accomplished our B'nai Mitzvah together. I could NOT have done it without the support, encouragement and inspiration of each of you. What will we do with all our "free time" now?"
--Sheryl Seef
"You are all a wonderful model and inspiration--your hard work, your inspiring words, and your enthusiastic and warm leading of the service--moved us all. Mazal Tov on a momentous accomplishment!  I'm proud to be your rabbi."
--Rabbi Andrea London
"I am on a bus in New York City headed to an educators' leadership meeting at HUC. My body is here but my mind and heart are with you. I was so inspired by your learning, commitment, and desire. You shined on your day. Mazal Tov to each of you. I look forward to learning with you again. What a privilege!"
--Marci Dickman
Honestly, last Saturday could qualify as one of the best days of my spiritual life.
--Ailsa Nielsen

Friday, February 10, 2012

Honoring Debbie Freidman

February 3rd.
Last Friday evenings Shabbat Service in celebration of Debbie Friedman's yahrzeit was a great celebration of her spirit and work.  Debbie's magic approach to musical & prayers had such a special way of raising the human spirit.  Cantor Luck created a lovely and rich service that honored Debbie's life and her personal mission.  

-lee weintraub

Friday, January 27, 2012

Raise Your Glass

What a great event!  We had so much fun mingling with other EC [Early Childhood] parents, sipping wine, and nibbling on all of the tasty desserts at Raise Your Glass last weekend. It was so nice to spend time with people I usually only see for a few minutes each day during drop off and pick up time. The opportunity to meet parents from other classes and to have "kid-free" conversations were the highlights for me. Throw in all the money that was raised for EC, and you have a truly successful night. We can't wait until next year!

- Ellen Izenson

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grandparent's Day

Grandparents' Day was such a treat!  From the warmth of the welcome when we arrived to the childrens' excitement about making challah with us, and from the energy of Cantor Luck's singing to visiting our grandchildrens' two Madregot classrooms, we had a chance to see many facets of their day and certainly understand why they love their school.  

Thanks so much -- we look forward to visiting again. 

Dottie Zoller

I enjoyed grandparents day. It's a great odea and you really had some nice activites. Having the kids make the challah with their grandparents was a great idea.

Al Schonwald

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beth Emet Communications Praised Across the Nation!

I just received the spring edition of the bulletin here in Florida, and I must commend you on all the wonderful articles and activities going on at Beth Emet.  I proudly show the bulletin to my many snowbird friends.  My only regret is that I am unable to attend.  I am really proud of Beth Emet, Rabbi London's leadership, and the many, many wonderful activities.

-Doris Sopkin

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Evening of Learning, Celebration and Dialogue

Last night was totally amazing…invigorating…exciting…I could go on, but I’d need a dictionary. Bravo. Ira and I are totally energized. Our guests were blown away with the awesomeness of the evening. Thanks to all. Let’s keep the conversation going.

Shabbat Shalom,
- Iris Marreck

Friday was one of those days where things kept coming up at work and home, yet my goal for the  day was to somehow make it by 6:30pm to Beth Emet because I had an idea it might be a special night. I did make it and the service was not only special, but mind-blowingly great. All sorts of emotions at the same time – I felt proud, humble, fortunate, inspired….Two days later I’m still processing everything, but while I continue to do so I didn’t want the moment to pass without saying thank you for your role in making it happen.

- Stopher Bartol

Friday: Tragedy & Triumph!

Dear Andrea,

Friday was quite a memorable day at Beth Emet. Tragedy and triumph!

I have never quite seen before a funeral as the one for Mary Ann Lachman. The choreography of the ceremony really got into the essence of who Mary Ann Lachman really was and you deserve credit for putting it all together in such a short time. You masterly told her narrative as well as her daughter Julia by reading her mother's letter written to her. It really told us who she was in her own words. It was a remarkable tribute to Mary Ann's life to let us all know what her life was and meant to her and those around her and more importantly, what we can learn for better leading our own lives through her own example.

Whenever I experience something extraordinary at Beth Emet, I have a saying, "Only at Beth Emet".

This can also be said for the evening celebrated with members of Second Baptist Church of Evanston. Of all the ecumenical events I have attended with and at Beth Emet in my thirty seven years as a member, this event was the most meaningful, warmest, and memorable one. Although many people volunteered to pull this off, your relations with interfaith circles, leadership in Beth Emet's involvement, and no doubt, overall direction of pursuing and overseeing this event to fruition demonstrates what a true asset you are for ecumenicism in both Beth Emet and the larger community.

Beth Emet has participated in many ecumenical undertakings in the past.  Depending on the era, (my God, am I getting old) they have been tinged with suspicion, reserve, and discomfort together with sincerity of effort, goodwill, and hope. But under your astute leadership, it has been taken to a whole new level moving us forward. Friday night is the most recent example.

As at the morning's tragic funeral, the evenings triumph was perfectly choreographed. From the tragedy and the triumph, we learned much in which to ponder. Both events are linked by the message of honoring the past, living in the present, and attempting to shape the future while accepting that we are all part of and influenced by an inexplicable larger whole.

I was twelve years old when King spoke at Beth Emet. Only five short years later I was deeply involved in the civil rights movement in college. Listening to the King tape for the second time, I realize a whole lifetime for me has passed and I am still immersed in dealing with seemingly never ending struggles for advancing human and civil rights.  Dinner with a young family from Second Baptist showed me that those who experienced history have a never ending obligation to share that with those who are following us to make the world better. It also reminded me that those who are getting along in age like me have much to learn from those following us. And having three young and adorable toddlers at our table for me to google at sealed the deal.

I want to sincerely thank you for your inspiring leadership and all those people who helped in planning and carrying out these events that made it such a special day. Only at Beth Emet!

Seymour Schwartz

P.S. The whole day was so emotional and exhausting I overslept the next morning and missed attending the Kahal service.